How To Make A Slip Cover

Get a few more years out of your old furniture or make your new furniture last longer by making your own slip covers.

Slipcovers have been used on furniture for many generations as a means to either get a little more life out of worn out furniture, or to protect new furniture from soiling. Some of you may remember the practice of covering furniture with plastic to keep it looking new, though these plastic covers were hardly comfortable to sit on. It can be quite expensive to have slipcovers made for your furniture by a professional upholsterer or seamstress and you can make your own quite easily if you know how to sew a little. Instead of junking your worn furniture, you can turn it into a beautiful new centerpiece for your room and even match it to draperies.

First, you need to decide on your material. Heavy upholstery materials are difficult to sew and are made mainly for re-upholstering, not sewing slip covers. Choose a material that can easily be sewn by hand or sewing machine. Once you have your fabric picked out, you willl need to measure your piece of furniture.

Measure your piece of furniture first from its lowest point to its highest and then measure its width. You will want to buy twice as much fabric as your measurements to allow for the contours of the piece of furniture and if you do have extra cloth you can use it to make drapes or throw pillows.

When you get home, place the fabric over the piece of furniture evenly, being sure to let out enough fabric to reach the floor plus a little extra allowance for a hem. Tuck the fabric around curves and corners with a pleating or fold and pin the folds in place. Hold the pleats in place permanently with a tacking stitch being sure that the fabric is held securely in place while you make the pleats around the whole piece. If the slip cover doesn't look right at first, keep experimenting until you get a look you like, make sure you have it the way you want it before you sew.

Pin up the edges of the fabric that will touch the floor, trimming off the extra fabric to an inch longer than needed. You can easily sew a hem around the bottom with a sewing machine or hand sewn hem stitch. If you want to decorate your slip covers you can sew lace or ribbon around the hem for a professional looking slip cover. Also, you may want to pin the slip covers with safety pins into the folds of your cushions to keep it securely in place.

© High Speed Ventures 2011